Wondering where I’ve been?
Austin Nashville Memphis Tuscaloosa New Orleans
I’ve returned from a mega – over 2000 miles – trip round the States.
It went a bit like this…
- First State: Illinios. A brief stop as we landed at Chicago O’Hare. Outside was sunny, autumnal but no time to even take a whiff of air! Less than 2 hours to collect cases, re-check them and get to next Terminal for 2nd flight. Rush Hours -2.
- AUSTIN. This small town in Texas was our destination because we had tickets for the F1 – that’s formula one racing. My first live race too. Austin is WEIRD. And that is no insult, ask anyone from there – it’s their crazy slogan: keepin’ it weird! Though it has a great vibe around 6th Street with live music that never seems to stop. We met great people there. Unfortunately PATRICIA was heading our way too (the hurricane that caused terrible damage & deaths in Mexico). It was a dampner, a big one! We got wet, cold, muddy – nothing tooo serious.
- Next we hit the road for a long drive towards Tennessee. Crossing through Texas, we stopped in Dallas (briefly to see the infamous ‘grassy knoll’) then on through Arkansas. We spent the evening in GREENVILLE. A brief stop but the hotel was lovely and we got a good deal 😉
- Onwards! Day 5 took us over the Mississippi into Memphis. 2 days to soak up the rock n’roll. Gracelands is cool. Even if you are not a mega Elvis fan, there’s plenty to see and I guarantee you will find something you like! Carpet on the walls? Gold plated car interiors? Customised airplanes? 24/7 songs? YES and yes and yes!!! Evening on Beale Street – more music & mayhem…
- A quick visit to Sun Studios and we’re off again. A shorter journey this time, to Nashville. We go direct to the Ole Opray and I buy my husband a decent cowboy style hat. That evening we stay by the hotel but find plenty going on in a small strip of bars/diners. Next morning we head to Ryman and I loved it! A walk around the streets, taking in the sights then off to grab lunch before we drive off again.
- We see that the next break is likely to be mid Alabama. Doing surfing we pick Tuscaloosa. Only for it’s relative distance, it’s got lakes – why not! Just one night but we entertained the locals in Hooters! They seemed mystified as to why we chose their little town. But it was a hoot (sorry).
- And onto – downtown New Orleans. We caught up with the rains again and my brolly was battered but you can’t stay in in New Orleans on Halloween. Crazy – mad – wild – gory and WTF?! is that….
- The aftermath: NO looked bedraggled with many Party People still out! So we chose a TV day, watching the next F1 race. Trying to recover and going ‘oh hell!’ and giving in to day 2 of the beer. Watching the locals win at football – hey now!
- And finally: The proper tourist stuff: museum, historic houses, Frenchman quarter, voodoo shops, a peek at the cemetery (too scared to go in!). Best breakfast at Déjà Vu (cool place).
- Beer o’clock? Hmm – yes.
- Tiredsville – I am there… The last push… a long drive back west to Austin. But the scenery was different at least: swamps, actual houses, an incredible river crossing (the bridge stretched over a mile) and the highest bridge! And the big ranches….
- Last stop – too tired but drag ourselves out. I choose not to shower as I know if I pause I will sleep ZZZZZzzz. Headed down to 6th Street again and to the fabulous: World of Weird (so me)… loved it. Small but quirky museum/attraction. Got a signed poster.
- We made it made to Fado the Irish bar to find the quiz in full play. I find it impossible Not to join in…. we had a good go, managed an 8/8 round then a dismall 2/8 and gave up when questions became local knowledge and US sports… eh? Last meal: fish & chips for me (yum) and then dragged outside to get a cab. Exhausted!!
- Morning was bright but we had to leave….
Gosh did I really do all that? In 2 weeks….
If you ever want to do a big road trip – go for it! And it can be a budget version too. I met a woman, travelling alone who used buses/trains and free shuttles to get around and she was on a similar route to us.